Daily Dose of Immortality

John, you left the tradition you must have felt held you captive. Did it feel like you were falling into empty space? You were throwing off the structure Mormonism had provided. The Kiwanis, the chiropractor, the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Potter’s House, or even the Mormons could have supplied meaning and fellowship. But you had had enough of structured fellowship.

That’s for damned sure!

Some of what you needed, John, was what you left behind.

And some of what I needed was waiting for me with open arms. I worry about you, Scott, about your inability to step away from a religion that encourages bigotry and punishes difference.

[from Immortal for Quite Some Time]


Our mother, Janice Hilton Abbott

About Scott Abbott

Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University, 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I'm Director of the Program in Integrated Studies and former Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade), and translations of a book by Austrian author Peter Handke and of a catalogue of an exhibit called "The German Army and Genocide." More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as a watershed scientist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a corrections officer, as university students, and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett and our yellow dog Blue. Some publications at http://works.bepress.com/scott_abbott/
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2 Responses to Daily Dose of Immortality

  1. roughghosts says:

    This excerpt caught my attention yesterday, Scott. I recently finished a book for a journal review called Witness by Robert Rient. Rient is a writer and psychologist who grew up gay and Jehovah’s Witness in Catholic Poland. Structured fellowship at the cost of being oneself is hard to step away from and totally unforgiving when you do. In his case his parents stayed in touch with both of their sons (his older brother married a former Catholic) and although they were not formally defellowshipped, his father was demoted to the lowest possible rank after more than 20 years as an elder. When he was outed he was told it would have better if you had murdered someone—a forgiveable sin, I suppose.


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